MONROEVILLE, Pa. - New security measures are being implemented at the Monroeville Mall following a weekend shooting that left three people injured.
Allegheny County police arrested and charged a 17-year-old boy in connection with Saturday night’s shooting inside the lower level of Macy's department store.
Investigators said Tarod Thornhill was arrested just after 3 a.m. Sunday in Brackenridge. Thornhill is facing adult charges of aggravated assault, attempted homicide and recklessly endangering other people.
On Sunday, the mall announced that a Youth Escort Policy will go into effect by the end of February. It will require all mall visitors under the age of 18 to be accompanied at all times on Friday and Saturday nights after 6 p.m. by a parent or guardian who is at least 21 years old.
In addition to the new policy, there will be an increased police presence at the mall, authorities said. READ MORE HERE.
Despite the changes, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala said he urged Monroeville Mall to implement strict security measures in 2013, even arranging for the mall owners to work with a security consultant.
"I don't believe they did what the consultant asked them to do. Now we're responding to violence, and so it was foreseeable and we had talked about it, and I gave them some people to work with them and we're going to get this stuff done right,” he said.
Detectives said they used social media and surveillance video to aid in their arrest. A photo posted on Instagram by Thornhill four hours before the shooting showed him in the same clothing he was seen wearing in mall surveillance video.
The shooting happened inside Macy's around 7:30 p.m. Authorities said three people were shot, including a husband and wife.
Davon Jones, 20, and Thomas Singleton, 48, were critically hurt and remain at Forbes Regional Hospital, where they underwent surgery, according to police. Mary Singleton, 47, was taken to the hospital in serious condition.
“Upon arrival, the two male gunshot wound victims immediately went to the OR and were managed by two surgical teams, led by two trauma surgeons,” said Forbes Regional Hospital Dr. Mark Rubio.
Police said one of the three victims was aided by an officer through the use of a tourniquet.
“I think that saved the life of one of these three victims with the ability of the first responder to slow down their bleeding,” said Forbes Regional Hospital Dr. Chris Kaufman.
Monroeville Police Chief Doug Coles said, “The response that I saw here, specifically the mutual aid response that we received here, was second to none. We had people critically injured here that were transported, and treated appropriately by both the Monroeville Fire Department and EMS, as well as the police officers initially on the scene.”
Coles said one of the victims was targeted. The other two victims were innocent bystanders.
According to a criminal complaint, Thornhill was seen on surveillance video approaching Jones “with a gun to his side and exchange words with him.” Thornhill then pointed his gun at Jones -- as Thomas Singleton and Mary Singleton walked in between them with their son -- and began firing shots “indiscriminately.”
Jones suffered gunshot wounds to his left flank, pubic region and left buttock, police said. Thomas Singleton was shot in the back of his left leg, severing his femoral artery. Mary Singleton was shot in her left shoulder.
Witnesses told Channel 11 News that chaos broke out inside the mall when the gunfire erupted.
Mitchell Swann was at the mall at the time of the shooting.
“I was downstairs in Macy’s. I heard the shots and everybody started running. Then I saw the kids running and I saw parents picking up their kids. And that’s when we all knew what happened,” he said.
Pittsburgh-area native and former NFL quarterback Terrelle Pryor said he was also at the mall when the shooting happened. In a post on Twitter, Pryor said, “Didn't see who was shooting, saw two people drop though! I was looking but 10 more shots went off and was getting closer to me. Then I ran.”
Monroeville Mall was evacuated and locked down following the shooting.
“I seen a lot of people running and just a lot of chaos going on. Police, they actually locked us down until they felt like it was safe enough for us to leave and come out,” said Yvette Jackson.
The Monroeville Mall was also where a massive brawl broke out last December with about 1,000 children and teens inside.
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